Let's Tell a Story!
April 27, 2007
“Life is like a place of service,” Leo Tolstoy said. “Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.”
In our world, this may well be our line of work. A field that we have chosen that ultimately reflects our attitude of service. CFI is 14 years old and it has become clearly evident in the last few years that the installers who took their certification seriously and delivered what the customer expected are successful and quite proud and satisfied of their careers. We’ve a long way to go to accomplish our goals, but those who have used CFI as the “tool” it was intended to be, have made progress together, much more rapidly than one person alone ever accomplishes.
Pride plays one of the most important roles in service. If you’re not proud, how in the world can you deliver the best service? It’s impossible! A few of the many outstanding photos we have received that display CFI PRIDE accompany this article. Can you imagine better advertising than watching one of these huge vans traveling down the road making a statement of PRIDE? That’s competing with the Super Bowl! It’s almost on the scale of the “CFI” trucks of burgundy and white that reminds folks of another CFI – terrific marketing! It works! These trucks pull out of Dalton daily and would probably charge us if they knew what those letters really mean!
If you are not enjoying your work, you must either change your attitude or change your job. Changing your attitude means looking for ways to be of service to others while you are doing your job. You can communicate power through your image. Does your image project strong leadership? Authority is inner confidence – a trust in your skills and abilities. It’s an attitude of “I can do this. I deserve success.” Do you stand tall and walk proudly, which says a lot for the value you place on yourself? When you meet others, do you make direct eye contact with a firm handshake? Do you speak with a commanding voice? Daily, you make the statement of who you really are!
A CFI installer who regularly addresses large audiences tells me several times a year that he never begins to speak that he does not remember what I state every year at the Certification Team Meeting, “Stand tall, talk loud and know your subject; you’ll get the attention of the crowd. Don’t try to fool people. Your actions tell them who you are!”
We must also be humble. A young apprentice applied to a Master installer for a job. The older man asked, “Do you really know this trade?” The younger man answered proudly, “I sure do.” “Have you ever made a mistake?” the Master installer asked. “Absolutely not!” was the answer, feeling certain he had the job. “Then, there’s no way that I can hire you,” said the Master, “because when you make one, you won’t know how to fix it.”
Experience is great, but it’s not everything. No longer does anyone want to hear, “I’ve been doing this for 15+ years, I know my stuff.” Today, we want to hear about the last course or training event you attended. We want to know that you are up to date. Experience is never as important as knowing how to do the work correctly.
It’s exciting to watch the manner in which CFI installers are conquering this field of installation with a positive attitude. Every day is a better day because of this. CFI C-II, Master and Master-II requirements are visible in a multitude of commercial specifications and growing! The CFI logo and explanations of what CFI installers deliver are seen in a variety of the home magazines. The ASID study materials include information about CFI and the list goes on.
There’s just one thing that we must all remember, CFI installers and other well-training, proud installers are not available to do the work fast and cheap. However, their work is quality and commands a fair price. In the end, nothing has changed, “You get what you pay for!” It’s much like an inspection of poor quality labor and after reviewing the installation and discovering that the price paid for the work was $3 per yard, including extras, I looked directly at the customer and stated, “You told me of the great bargain you found for labor and I agree with you, but I find nothing wrong with the installation.” Very upset, she replied, “You saw this horrible mess and you can’t see what’s wrong?” As I left, I responded, “You received everything you paid for; a deal is a deal and this was a bad one. Yes, the installation was a disaster, but just like everything else, you get what you paid for.” Someday, the retail community will “SELL” installation because I assure you customers will pay when they are “SOLD” the difference.
This is a new year and another opportunity for you to make a statement just like the logos on the trucks, the shirts and the toolboxes. Tell the world the story of who you really are and what you can do – and then DO IT!